Regular Coronavirus testing for staff in supported living settings


Staff testing within supported living environments will help protect residents and staff, and is an important part of the national effort to tackle coronavirus. This is part of the National testing programme where no symptoms are present. Staff will be asked to test themselves every 7 days.

Supported Living managers

  • You should have received an email from DHSC with your Unique Organisation Number (UON)
  • You will need your (UON) to access the National Testing Programme and the number of staff who need tested.
  • Register for test kits via the portal
  • You will be allocated four weeks’ worth of kits at a time.
  • Royal Mail will deliver the kits to your site.
  • Staff must be given guidance on testing and sign consent forms before testing begins.


  • You should receive four kits at a time to cover four weeks’ worth of testing.
  • When you take a test, you need to register the kit online using your organisation’s UON here:
  • You should carry out the test and return the kit the same day via a priority post box – find your nearest one here:
  • Test samples will be processed and results sent out to the email address and mobile number provided when kit was registered.
  • Self-isolate and notify your employer immediately if you receive a positive result.

If you have queries about orders, deliveries, extra or missing test kits, or missing results, you can phone the National Testing Programme Helpdesk on 119.

How to take the test

Below is brief guide showing how to take a sample for the test. More detailed instructions on how to use the test kit are available here:

A video showing how to take a test is available here:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds using soap and warm water.
  2. Clean and dry a surface to place the test kit on. Unpack everything from the kit onto the clean surface.
  3. Gently blow your nose and cough into a tissue. This is so excess mucus does not interfere with the test. Throw the tissue away into a closed bin.
  4. Find your tonsils and back of throat. Look inside your mouth, and find your tonsils (use a torch and a mirror to help you do this). Your tonsils and the back of your throat is where you will swab your sample. If your tonsils were removed, just swab the back of the throat.
  5. Open the sealed wrapper and carefully take out the swab. You’ll use it for both your nose and throat.
  6. Take the throat sample. Open your mouth wide and gently rub the swab over both tonsils and the back of the throat for 10 seconds. It may feel uncomfortable and make you gag a little, but it should not hurt. Important: The fabric tip of the swab must not touch anything apart from the tonsils, back of the throat and nose. If it touches anything else (such as tongue, teeth or gums), use a new swab.
  7. Take the nose sample. Use the same end of the same swab. Insert the swab gently into your nostril by about 2.5cm (1 inch) or until you feel some resistance. Do not insert the swab any deeper if there is strong resistance or pain. Rotate the swab for 10-15 seconds and gently remove it.
  8. Place swab into plastic vial and snap the tip. Make sure that the fabric tip is facing down as you place it into the vial. Snap off the other end of the swab, so that it fits inside the vial without bending. Securely screw the lid onto the vial.

Webinars (1 hour):

Thursday 11 March at 12md

Friday 12 March at 12md and 2pm-3pm.

If you will be attending the webinar please email to confirm your attendance and receive the link.

The Webinar will explain the process of how to set up and manage testing in a Supported Living setting. There will be a Q&A section providing an opportunity to address any queries you might have.

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